12 Replies Latest reply: Jun 14, 2013 8:54 AM by turingtest2
vribbons Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hi

 

I have been tirelessly trying to relocate my entire iTunes function to an external hard drive to free space on my laptop. I have migrated the iTunes library (from the 'My Music' location on laptop) to ext hard drive and also reinstalled iTunes, asking to save all files during set up to the ext drive (not in default 'Program Files' on laptop). I have also pointed iTunes to the library's new location on the ext hard drive. I did this after reading a recommendation on here that it is better to have both my library and all other iTunes files in the same place.

 

One of the problems is when I have moved the library, it has for some reason created two iTunes folders on the ext drive with different music in each, but the library database file is only available in one of them, and I am not sure if all the music from both folders is available in iTunes.

 

Another huge issue is that when I have tried to back up my iPhone to the computer (as recommended to do after migrating the iTunes program to another location), it is not letting the process complete; I get an error message saying it cannot save to the computer. It seems the location of the back ups (C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup) isn't compatible with the new location of my library etc (on my ext drive)and from searching the internet for a solution, it seems you can't change the location of where back ups of an iPhone are stored.

 

So, does anyoine know if there is a fix-all solution to these dilemmas? Or should I just keep my library on one drive and the iTunes program on my int drive?

 

Thanks in advance

VR

 


  • 1.
    braden85 Community Specialists Community Specialists (2,675 points)

    Hi vribbons!

     

    If you desire to have your iTunes files located on your external hard drive, then I would strongly suggest that you only store the iTunes Media folder to the external drive. We have an article here that can explain to you the exact procedure for doing that and setting it up to work correctly, and that article can be found right here:

     

    iTunes for Windows: Moving your iTunes Media folder

    http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1364

     

    Take care, and thanks for visiting the Apple Support Communities.

     

    -Braden

  • 2. Re: Problems trying to store iTunes on external hard drive and back up iPhone to internal hard drive?
    turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (46,595 points)

    Relocate iTunes library

    Regardless of the support document referenced above the preferred option of experienced users is to relocate the entire iTunes folder to the external drive rather than just the media folder. (It is a different matter for network storage however.) This prevents unwanted side effects if iTunes is launched when the drive isn't connected and the library can be easily backed up and/or migrated to a new computer. The normal proceedure when the media folder is still a subfolder of the main iTunes folder is to move the entire iTunes folder to a new path, e.g. to X:\iTunes where X:\ is the external drive, then hold down the shift key as you launch iTunes, keep holding shift until prompted to choose or create a library and choose the library in its new location.

     

    Given that things are now not so simple see my post make a split library portable. Feel free to post back details and I will try to provide specific steps to tidy up.

     

     

     

    Relocate iOS device backups

    Assuming you're running Windows Vista or later you can use the following steps:

     

    1. Open a command prompt by hitting the start button and typing CMD<Enter> in the search box that opens up.

    2. To move the current backup folder from C: to X: type in this command and press <Enter>

      Move "C:\Users\<User>\AppData\Local\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup" "X:\Backup"

      Where <User> is your Windows user name.

    3. To make iTunes look for the data in the new location type in this command and press <Enter>

      MkLink /J "C:\Users\<User>\AppData\Local\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup" "X:\Backup"

    If your external drive has a different letter or you already have a folder called "Backup" then edit "X:\Backup" accordingly in both commands.

     

    If you're still running Windows XP you can use Junction (cmd line tool) or NTFSLink (shell ext). In both cases you move the existing folder to a new location, create an empty folder where the old one used to be, then use the tools to get the operating system to link the two together and silently redirect any file operation on the old location through to the new one.

     

    Note that while this method works for iOS device backups it cannot be used to redirect sections of the media library.

     

     

     

    tt2

  • 3. Re: Problems trying to store iTunes on external hard drive and back up iPhone to internal hard drive?
    vribbons Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Turingtest2, thanks so much - so it seems I did the right thing intially by relocating my entire iTunes folder including Media to ext HD - meaning I don't have to faff around trying to move anything back!

     

    Great - iTunes seems to be accepting the new location of library for the most part, but there are a couple of occasions when I have tried to play tracks and it says it cannot find the location of the file... I have played around with things a fair bit though, but as far as I know haven't deleted any tracks from anywhere, although I have moved them. Is there a way of making sure all my iTunes Media (music, apps etc) is mirrored in the library files?

     

    (Worth noting that when I have deleted the 'unlocatable' tracks from iTunes playlists/song list, the track reappears and immediately comes up with a download arrow to get it off iCloud anyway... so I have been doing that - almost replacing the 'lost' files in library from iCloud)

     

    I copied tracks to the 'Automatically add to iTunes' folder (located in the iTunes Media parent folder, now situated on my ext HD) from elsewhere; should they immediately be added to the library database file as well in the same parent folder?

     

    And also, if I add songs to iTunes via downloading or importing CDs, will they be added to the library correctly on the ext HD?

  • 4. Re: Problems trying to store iTunes on external hard drive and back up iPhone to internal hard drive?
    vribbons Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Also re Relocating iOS device backups, tried the steps above, and after inputting first command, it said access denied, 0 dir moved...

  • 5. Re: Problems trying to store iTunes on external hard drive and back up iPhone to internal hard drive?
    turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (46,595 points)

    Hmm, seems I'd mistakenly got Local instead of Roaming, in that path... Apologies.

     

    Corrected version...

     

    Relocate iOS device backups

    Assuming you're running Windows Vista or later you can use the following steps:

     

    1. Open a command prompt by hitting the start button and typing CMD<Enter> in the search box that opens up.

    2. To move the current backup folder from C: to X: type in this command and press <Enter>

      Move "C:\Users\<User>\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup" "X:\Backup"

      Where <User> is your Windows user name.

    3. To make iTunes look for the data in the new location type in this command and press <Enter>

      MkLink /J "C:\Users\<User>\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup" "X:\Backup"

    If your external drive has a different letter or you already have a folder called "Backup" then edit "X:\Backup" accordingly in both commands.

     

    If you're still running Windows XP you can use Junction (cmd line tool) or NTFSLink (shell ext). In both cases you move the existing folder to a new location, create an emptyfolder where the old one used to be, then use the tools to get the operating system to link the two together and silently redirect any file operation on the old location through to the new one.

     

    Note that while this method works for iOS device backups it cannot be used to redirect sections of the media library.

     

     

     

    tt2

  • 6. Re: Problems trying to store iTunes on external hard drive and back up iPhone to internal hard drive?
    turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (46,595 points)

    I use a tool called iTunes Folder Watch with its option to "Check for dead tracks on startup" to compare the contents of the media folder with that of the library. I also have a script called FindTracks that may be able to locate files that aren't quite where iTunes expects to find them. In general avoid moving things around by hand as apart from the special case of a moving a portable library to a new path iTunes won't find things that you've moved yourself.

     

    tt2

  • 7. Re: Problems trying to store iTunes on external hard drive and back up iPhone to internal hard drive?
    vribbons Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    FindTracks works a treat, thanks. Am going to try inporting a CD and seeing if it is stored correctly on ext HD.

     

    Re relocating the backups, I originally entered the correct file path (i.e. roaming) as opposed to 'local' and it said 'access denied'. I am also unable to update/sync iPhone on laptop since moving iTunes - is this to do with the location of the Backup files do you think? Or the fact that the media folder with info on all Apps has moved?

  • 8. Re: Problems trying to store iTunes on external hard drive and back up iPhone to internal hard drive?
    turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (46,595 points)

    Hmm.

     

    I'm sure I'd successfully tested the command line version of the move instructions at one point, but I'm getting the same "access denied" error when I try. Maybe "Move" doesn't like working with folders when the path contains sections with hidden or system flags. Anyway herewith version 3 which I've just tested works as described...

     

     


     

     

    Relocate iOS device backups

    Assuming you're running Windows Vista or later you can use the following steps:

     

    1. Using Windows Explorer move the current Mobile Sync Backup folder from C:\Users\<User>\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup to your chosen location, e.g. as  X:\Backup where <User> is your Windows user name and X: is your preferred drive.

    2. To make iTunes look for the data in the new location open a command prompt by hitting the start button and typing CMD<Enter> in the search box that opens up, then type in this command and press <Enter>

      MkLink /J "C:\Users\<User>\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup" "X:\Backup"

     

    If your external drive has a different letter or you already have a folder called "Backup" then edit "X:\Backup" accordingly.

     

    If you're still running Windows XP you can use Junction (cmd line tool) or NTFSLink (shell ext). In both cases you move the existing folder to a new location, create an empty folder where the old one used to be, then use the tools to get the operating system to link the two together and silently redirect any file operation on the old location through to the new one.

     

    Note that while this method works for iOS device backups it cannot be used to redirect sections of the media library. iTunes will break the connection the first time it tries to write a file to the target folder.

     

     


     

     

    What happens when you want to sync the device? If you're getting a warning about erasing and reloading the device with media from the current library then something is wrong. If you moved the library files correctly and then reconnected them to iTunes this should still be the "home" library of the device and it should sync as if nothing had changed. If not then revist the make a split library portable post for advice. See also Recover your iTunes library from your iPod or iOS device if for some reason you accidentally erased the original library files and all backups thereof.

     

    tt2

  • 9. Re: Problems trying to store iTunes on external hard drive and back up iPhone to internal hard drive?
    vribbons Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks tt2 - sorted majority of issues (finally!) and iTunes is working great.

     

    The only issue remaining is my iPhone isn't showing on my laptop under Computer or under Devices in AutoPlay settings box. Also the Autoplay box doesnt appear when i plug my phone in. So I am unable to get videos off my Photo Album...

     

    I have reinstalled iTunes after trawling Support for an answer; thought this was this most likely culprit. Seems not.

     

    It is saying - The drivers for this device are not installed. (Code 28) - when i check Device Manager and click on iPhone, even though i have just reinstalled the entire program.

  • 11. Re: Problems trying to store iTunes on external hard drive and back up iPhone to internal hard drive?
    vribbons Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Unfortunately I've tried all these steps already, including reinstalling. When followng the above to restart AMDS, it all looks  fine  - it;s set to Automatic etc.

    Really at a loss as to what the problem is and why laptop not picking up iPhone.

    Even tried troubleshooting for third party software, but there is nothing else installed that woud be interferring.

  • 12. Re: Problems trying to store iTunes on external hard drive and back up iPhone to internal hard drive?
    turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (46,595 points)

    I assume you've checked the device works with the same cable when plugged into another computer?

     

    tt2